The 2019 NBA All-Star Game starters and reserve selections were recently announced. Captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will choose their teammates on Feb. 7 during a televised event.
The NBA decided to make two last-minute additions to the pool of talent to choose from. Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade have been added to the All-Star teams as “special roster additions.”
The NBA said Friday in an official statement that Wade and Nowitzki would play in the 68th All-Star Game, despite not getting voted-in by the fans.
“In honor of their extraordinary contributions as iconic NBA champions and beloved ambassadors, Nowitzki and Wade will take the court on Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Spectrum Center,” the statement says.
Wade and Nowitzki were faces of the league during the 2000’s and onward. They will be appearing in their 13th and 14th All-Star Games respectively.
“Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade embody the best of the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Remarkable skill, drive and professionalism, as well as a deep devotion to strengthening their communities and growing the game around the world.”
Wade and Nowitzki faced off against each other in the NBA Finals twice. Each player has come away with a win. In 2006, Wade, along with Shaquille O’Neal, led the Heat to a win over Nowitzki’s Mavericks. Despite going down 0-2 in the series, they would win four straight. Wade would receive the Finals MVP award.
Nowitzki and Co. would have their revenge in 2011. The underdog Dallas team beat Miami in their first season with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Nowitzki was awarded the MVP award of the six-game series.
As Wade is currently playing his final season, and Nowitzki is not far beyond, this is a great gesture by the league. These two players are Hall of Famers, and icons for their franchises. Adding these two fan favorites to the All-Star Game for one last time will make it extra special for viewers.